Anhedonia

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CaliforniaBurrito
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11 Jan 2018

Do you ever feel numb to music as if it doesn't do anything for you? The passion fades away and the sound waves amount to a bunch of noise instead of you being interested in the details. This happens to me after my "weekend" of music as I begin the next work week. I imagine this is normal to some extent and a sustained dopamine rush isn't realistic. Maybe I need a better diet to support more dopamine release but I know I'll be walking around at work tonight thinking about what I will do with my next musical adventure.

What happens if you wake up one day and all of the passion is gone to never return? What will you do with the rest of your time in this existence? Maybe you can sit there like an old lady in a retirement home doing a pointless puzzle. I don't mean any offense to you if you end up as an old lady doing a pointless puzzle but this would mean madness to some people in the creative arts. Can you find satisfaction and release in doing a pointless puzzle devoid of expression and emotion? Maybe people do puzzles for the illusion that they are creating or being productive. Same with other forms of media I guess. You watch sports to feed the primitive tribal desire, play video games to pretend you're a hero and watch movies to feel included in somebody else's story. My grandma plays solitaire and I think that is pretty pointless despite the release it seems to bring. Perhaps that is what we have to look forward to if we live long enough.

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Zac
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11 Jan 2018

I hate to say it but IMO it's all just distraction of one sort or another.

Distraction from the fact that we are living in a social and economic construct that is alien to our base origins. We mainly no longer have to worry about the basics such as shelter, food, water, protecting outselves...

Jobs take up the majority of time for most but even that's just to get a better quality of free time/distraction. In countries like mine, welfare will keep you alive at least.

I used to yearn to go back to simpler times but that was just ridiculous. Life used to be hard and still is but in different ways perhaps. We can't go back, most of us no longer have the skills.

I think existential loneliness and anxiety is normal and has always been part of life. I now think the best one can do is to do what comes naturally like relationships, kids, work and enjoyable distractions and just bump along. I on the other hand have gone down a different path and am wondering wtf to do now.

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CaliforniaBurrito
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11 Jan 2018

Zac wrote:
11 Jan 2018
I think existential loneliness and anxiety is normal and has always been part of life. I now think the best one can do is to do what comes naturally like relationships, kids, work and enjoyable distractions and just bump along. I on the other hand have gone down a different path and am wondering wtf to do now.
I go to work, drink alone and play with sounds. That is my life. Sometimes I do feel like I'm passing time in a cell and serving a life sentence of course. No friends or children makes life easier with less obligation but leads to more detachment from this existence. I'm lucky enough to have a girlfriend but I don't think she really understands. She's fine with my functional drinking because I'm an escapist drunk rather than a mean or depressive drunk. She's pretty good at pointing out my inadequacies though like why don't I put effort into getting a better job and that I might be going crazy spending thousands of hours making music for a few random people on Reasontalk to skim through. She's an escape artist too of course in her own way. I guess we're all just passing time and these self-absorbed thoughts of pointless puzzlism won't mean anything soon enough.

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Zac
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11 Jan 2018

Amen.

I used to be an escapist drunk. Now I'm more of the other.

Tick tock. Hehe i do still have positivity it's just in the minority now :)

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CaliforniaBurrito
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11 Jan 2018

Zac wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Tick tock. Hehe i do still have positivity it's just in the minority now :)
I desperately search for positivity in my dry and dark sense of humor. I also feel good about the temporary aspect of this existence and the very thought is comforting. I wouldn't say I'm functionally negative but rather...empty. They say emptiness is Godliness though.

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Quiloc Lim
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11 Jan 2018

I also go through those apathetic feelings from time to time.

I used to have a pretty intense career in graphic art. I got pretty apathetic / burnt out on life doing that. Having to always be "on" is exhausting. Trying to explain to the company heads why "creativity" isn't a mechanical switch, or valve, that can be instantly turned on for an endless flow of profitable / marketable ideas just....... burned me out. They couldn't understand that creativity & positive feelings comes in waves of inspiration & it's hard to predict when, or what, could inspire that. The pressure was always there to perform. Good thing I have an understanding wife that gives me room to just do my thing when the urge strikes.

I find that music creativity (which I do as a hobby to escape from wife, family & current job pressure) also flows like pulsing waves with different things that can suddenly inspire more music & art.

I've also come to terms with the fact that the art & music that oozes out just fades into obscurity and that no one around me really gives a fuck about it. And that's O.K.

The thing is most important is that I enjoy making it. When the inspiration strikes, I enjoy creating. It doesn't' matter that no one else cares. What does matter that the creativity "high" is enjoyed in the moments it exists and flows through.

I think that all artists, no matter the medium they create in" go through this. When that creative high isn't there, they turn to other "substances" to get feelings going, or numb them. Depends on the individual. I've walked a bit down that road & pulled back. Fortunately I've survived & I'm fine.

So.... to return to your original thoughts

"What happens if you wake up one day and all of the passion is gone to never return?" It always will. Just not in the time, or means of our choosing.

"What will you do with the rest of your time in this existence? Maybe you can sit there like an old lady in a retirement home doing a pointless puzzle. I don't mean any offense to you if you end up as an old lady doing a pointless puzzle but this would mean madness to some people in the creative arts. Can you find satisfaction and release in doing a pointless puzzle devoid of expression and emotion? Maybe people do puzzles for the illusion that they are creating or being productive. Same with other forms of media I guess."

Yes & Yes. Finding other things to do IRL & online to bumble into inspiration. It comes comes from many unexpected places & forms. For me, using Reason is the quickest tool to get my creativity into music. It's workflow doesn't get in the way of my working out my creativity, but rather inspires it in unexpected way.

"You watch sports to feed the primitive tribal desire, play video games to pretend you're a hero and watch movies to feel included in somebody else's story. My grandma plays solitaire and I think that is pretty pointless despite the release it seems to bring. Perhaps that is what we have to look forward to if we live long enough."

I agree with you. If playing solitaire brings someone harmless pleasure, who are we to judge.

BTW - I really like your music on "Instant Gratification" I was listening your other stuff on itunes while writing all this up. Keep doing what your doing. Especially the house type stuff. Better than what I do. :-) It's all good .

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aeox
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11 Jan 2018

I've had problems with depression and anxiety from sitting around making music all day, everyday for the past year and a half..

Especially ever since I quit smoking cigarettes, and drinking coffee in February last year. It's been really rough mentally trying to adapt from going 5 years with these two stimulants and suddenly not having them. I also quit drinking alcohol alone and have saved that activity for whenever I get a chance to go hangout over at my brothers house or whatever. Because like you, I don't really have friends either.

What you eat is really important to help balance the chemicals in your body. It's essential to make sure you're taking care of yourself in that regard. It has helped me a ton just by watching what I eat and making sure I'm getting vital nutrients and minerals from fruits and vegetables, etc. Try to cut out processed crap as much as you can. Mental health is so important!

Maybe even try grounding yourself outside at least once a day for 30 minutes! This is something I've found to help relieve depression for some reason (placebo?) I'm sure there is some science behind it. (i'm not a hippy i swear it!)

Maybe set some more goals for this year. Another album? Learn a new genre for fun? Whatever!
I've got my goal set for the year and it's been distracting and satisfying so far trying to accomplish it.

I wish the best for you on your journey. Your fight isn't over.

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4filegate
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12 Jan 2018

We're being open to direction and able to embrace change. What counts is your contribution to Society or betterment to NxtGen. Work ethic focused on the AVM audio/video/media for understanding storytelling with the Bilingualism in french/ english /german; Ongoing communication.
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plaamook
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12 Jan 2018

Many years ago I was stuck in New Jersey, which is where I'm from, and all I wanted to do was get enough money together for a car so I could drive out to the rockies. I thought of this day and night and I finally got it together. So I was like 21 and I put everything I owned into a car and drove out west. I was sitting On the rim of this little canyon in Wyoming one day watching this hawk fly around, real picturesque moment, sunshine n shit, and I was bored out of my mind. All I wanted to do was to be able to sit there and enjoy this moment. To just relax and just sit there but there was this restlessness in me that cut so deep. That day changed my life.

So I think now, 20+ yr later, there is something very important about this restlessness. There is something there to be understood and it's may not be something you can ever explain to anyone, but if you don't face it it will eat you alive slowly from within. Which is what I think it does to everyone. I think it drives all the shit in the world and I think it's impossible to be truly happy without understanding it directly.

So yeah, I agree with whoever up there in this thread said everything is a distraction but I have a different opinion about what we want to be distracted from.

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plaamook
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12 Jan 2018

All that said, it really is amazing to be in the creative flow. Quite a thing!

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QVprod
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12 Jan 2018

You have to go out and do something other than sit in front of a computer. Inspiration comes from living life in general. I personally got the least amount of music done when I was unemployed sitting at home all day and borderline depressed. Also create a goal for your music. ReasonTalk's great and all but the world and internet is too large to only make music for people here to hear.

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CaliforniaBurrito
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12 Jan 2018

Quiloc Lim wrote:
11 Jan 2018
I've also come to terms with the fact that the art & music that oozes out just fades into obscurity and that no one around me really gives a fuck about it. And that's O.K.

The thing is most important is that I enjoy making it. When the inspiration strikes, I enjoy creating. It doesn't' matter that no one else cares. What does matter that the creativity "high" is enjoyed in the moments it exists and flows through.
This is an interesting point that I reflected on throughout last year and it ties into my recent obsession with instant gratification. The obscurity is something I had to accept before going deeper into the rabbit hole. This point reminds me of (younger) people who feel the need to update their social media whenever they are feeling creative. It is a quick dopamine release that nobody really cares about and it also inadvertently steals from the creative endeavor at hand. Thanks for the comments on Instant Gratification. :)
aeox wrote:
11 Jan 2018
Especially ever since I quit smoking cigarettes, and drinking coffee in February last year.
That must be rough. I can easily go through a can of dipping tobacco during a twelve hour music shift and I don't know how I would function without it as well as the caffeine. I would also like to come up with a better diet instead of ordering pizza as a last effort to eat something. I take multi-vitamins and a costly liver cleansing supplement but that doesn't stack up to eating real food. My job involves a lot of walking and I think it is beneficial. I work overnight though so there's the sleep deprivation and not getting sunlight.
4filegate wrote:
12 Jan 2018
What counts is your contribution to Society or betterment to NxtGen.
Good point. I suppose if I was an unemployed gambler or something like that then I would feel guilty.
plaamook wrote:
12 Jan 2018
There is something there to be understood and it's may not be something you can ever explain to anyone, but if you don't face it it will eat you alive slowly from within. Which is what I think it does to everyone. I think it drives all the shit in the world and I think it's impossible to be truly happy without understanding it directly.
Facing the music is what I intend to do and I don't think escapism will work. The goal of understanding could be perceived by others as escapism but it is not to be understood by others like you said.
QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
You have to go out and do something other than sit in front of a computer. Inspiration comes from living life in general. I personally got the least amount of music done when I was unemployed sitting at home all day and borderline depressed. Also create a goal for your music. ReasonTalk's great and all but the world and internet is too large to only make music for people here to hear.
On the contrary, I also think inspiration can come from solitary soul-searching. What can you say to a monk or a hermit? This existence can be very real and fulfilling. I can relate to the unemployment thing though and I soon learned that it wasn't going to be the key to evolving as an artist. Not only was I trapped in a wayward status but I simply wasn't experienced enough to be productive so it also led to frustration. Reasontalk or any corner of the web is a nice way to rub one off so to speak and it ties back into a theme of instant gratification. I axed several social media accounts throughout the years though because I really do like to get down to the nitty gritty which would be craft refinement for the most part.

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QVprod
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12 Jan 2018

CaliforniaBurrito wrote:
12 Jan 2018

QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
You have to go out and do something other than sit in front of a computer. Inspiration comes from living life in general. I personally got the least amount of music done when I was unemployed sitting at home all day and borderline depressed. Also create a goal for your music. ReasonTalk's great and all but the world and internet is too large to only make music for people here to hear.
On the contrary, I also think inspiration can come from solitary soul-searching. What can you say to a monk or a hermit? This existence can be very real and fulfilling. I can relate to the unemployment thing though and I soon learned that it wasn't going to be the key to evolving as an artist. Not only was I trapped in a wayward status but I simply wasn't experienced enough to be productive so it also led to frustration. Reasontalk or any corner of the web is a nice way to rub one off so to speak and it ties back into a theme of instant gratification. I axed several social media accounts throughout the years though because I really do like to get down to the nitty gritty which would be craft refinement for the most part.
I never said be social, though I think that's important as well just for living in general. It's hard to soul search in front of a computer. Monks are typically surrounded by some type of scenery. They have a lot more to look at than the inside of their living space. Many hermits travel.

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CaliforniaBurrito
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12 Jan 2018

QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
I never said be social, though I think that's important as well just for living in general. It's hard to soul search in front of a computer. Monks are typically surrounded by some type of scenery. They have a lot more to look at than the inside of their living space. Many hermits travel.
I've been through most of the United States if that counts for anything and even passed by Dorothy's house in Kansas. :lol:

Not to derail my own thread but the reality we have to face now is mankind living in a virtual existence. Can you tell me what the difference is between visiting the Grand Canyon and watching somebody's video log on YouTube? Maybe the difference is the egotistical satisfaction of being able to say that you did it. This blurred line is becoming a very scary reality. We can look at pornography as a prime example of how sitting in front of a computer can meet the needs of an individual while also having a detrimental impact on personal relationships. If you could be strapped down and plugged into The Matrix would you be willing to do so? Soul-searching in front of a computer is not too far out of a concept and we're pretty close to being there.

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QVprod
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12 Jan 2018

CaliforniaBurrito wrote:
12 Jan 2018
QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
I never said be social, though I think that's important as well just for living in general. It's hard to soul search in front of a computer. Monks are typically surrounded by some type of scenery. They have a lot more to look at than the inside of their living space. Many hermits travel.
I've been through most of the United States if that counts for anything and even passed by Dorothy's house in Kansas. :lol:

Not to derail my own thread but the reality we have to face now is mankind living in a virtual existence. Can you tell me what the difference is between visiting the Grand Canyon and watching somebody's video log on YouTube? Maybe the difference is the egotistical satisfaction of being able to say that you did it. This blurred line is becoming a very scary reality. We can look at pornography as a prime example of how sitting in front of a computer can meet the needs of an individual while also having a detrimental impact on personal relationships. If you could be strapped down and plugged into The Matrix would you be willing to do so? Soul-searching in front of a computer is not too far out of a concept and we're pretty close to being there.
Nah, it'll never be the same. The fact that pornography is characteristically detrimental to relationships is proof of that. It may met a person's sexual needs but it will not replace actual human companionship. To keep it in a musical context. Watching a band play online is not the same experience as physically seeing them live. The experience is completely different What it comes down to is what people are willing to be "satisfied" with. I didn't mean to imply that you've never traveled, but experiencing life outside of home is a continual thing. It doesn't require doing something huge and visiting some far off place either. Simply going to a park can make a world of a difference.

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CaliforniaBurrito
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12 Jan 2018

QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
To keep it in a musical context. Watching a band play online is not the same experience as physically seeing them live. The experience is completely different What it comes down to is what people are willing to be "satisfied" with.
Ok so let's get back to music. I recently saw one of my favorite indie rock bands play at the House of Blues. I went by myself because I don't have any friends. I'm truly passionate about the music so the social implications don't even matter. I wanted to go and embrace the band and the whole live experience. The performance was great and surpassed my expectations. My actual experience as a whole was ruined by people holding their cell phones in the air and people having conversations throughout the entire show. People are so self-absorbed that they want to deliver a virtual experience to their social media friends who don't really care and then there are the people who depreciate the event as a social outing to catch up with their friends. I'm very close to believing that staying at home with a virtual reality headset that presents a better view and higher quality audio would be more satisfying. :D

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motuscott
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12 Jan 2018

Grand Canyon is pretty awesome IRL, no way your computer is going to get you there.

But damn Calif, I've got no or few friends as well and it kinda suits me. Also helps to live in a big city (if you have a hole that you can escape to) and just get out there among the peeps. The world is full of people who would like nothing more than to have a few minutes of your attention. At which point you will be very glad you're a loner, see above mentioned hole.

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4filegate
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12 Jan 2018

motuscott wrote:
12 Jan 2018
The world is full of people who would like nothing more than to have a few minutes of your attention.
Clickbait - it’s one of the best ways to get people to take notice and give you their most precious asset; attention.
For sites that thrive on thousands of click-throughs to content, many authors see the use of clickbait as a means to tap into human psyche by crafting these eye-catching headlines.
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CaliforniaBurrito
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12 Jan 2018

motuscott wrote:
12 Jan 2018
Also helps to live in a big city (if you have a hole that you can escape to) and just get out there among the peeps.
I agree and this is how I feel content with wearing the same clothes every day. Nobody cares but it is quite liberating at the same time! :D
4filegate wrote:
12 Jan 2018
Clickbait - it’s one of the best ways to get people to take notice and give you their most precious asset; attention.
The fishermen at the top of their game aren't concerned with bait. Clickbait is for content creators who don't have anything worthwhile. The ideal situation should be to have enough experience to simply cast your net into the water and scoop up a bunch of fish. I don't think this comes easy by any means though.

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4filegate
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12 Jan 2018

CaliforniaBurrito wrote:
12 Jan 2018
4filegate wrote:
12 Jan 2018
Clickbait - it’s one of the best ways to get people to take notice and give you their most precious asset; attention.
The fishermen at the top of their game aren't concerned with bait. Clickbait is for content creators who don't have anything worthwhile. The ideal situation should be to have enough experience to simply cast your net into the water and scoop up a bunch of fish. I don't think this comes easy by any means though.
In a world faced with endless choices and options, we freeze. Yes, you can listen to our music, but only if you also buy our branded Frozen Fish Fingers.
It uses well-worn, psychological patterns that people are already looking for. It gives them what they need, when they need it.
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CaliforniaBurrito
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12 Jan 2018

4filegate wrote:
12 Jan 2018
In a world faced with endless choices and options, we freeze. Yes, you can listen to our music, but only if you also buy our branded Frozen Fish Fingers.
It uses well-worn, psychological patterns that people are already looking for. It gives them what they need, when they need it.
I think this is quite contradictory due to the state of the music industry but I do agree with the aspect of instant gratification.

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4filegate
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12 Jan 2018

CaliforniaBurrito wrote:
12 Jan 2018
4filegate wrote:
12 Jan 2018
In a world faced with endless choices and options, we freeze. Yes, you can listen to our music, but only if you also buy our branded Frozen Fish Fingers.
It uses well-worn, psychological patterns that people are already looking for. It gives them what they need, when they need it.
I think this is quite contradictory due to the state of the music industry but I do agree with the aspect of instant gratification.
It’s thanks to Net Neutrality that small businesses and entrepreneurs have been able to thrive online. But without Net Neutrality, ISPs will exploit their gatekeeper position and destroy the internet’s fair and level playing field. Consumer electronics bring a Netflix-branded button to the remote controls for televisions, Blu-ray players and other.
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Quiloc Lim
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13 Jan 2018

" Ok so let's get back to music. I recently saw one of my favorite indie rock bands play at the House of Blues. I went by myself because I don't have any friends. I'm truly passionate about the music so the social implications don't even matter. I wanted to go and embrace the band and the whole live experience. The performance was great and surpassed my expectations. My actual experience as a whole was ruined by people holding their cell phones in the air and people having conversations throughout the entire show. People are so self-absorbed that they want to deliver a virtual experience to their social media friends who don't really care and then there are the people who depreciate the event as a social outing to catch up with their friends. I'm very close to believing that staying at home with a virtual reality headset that presents a better view and higher quality audio would be more satisfying. :D "

I'm in San Diego. What band did you go to see at HOB? I went and watched Paul Weller recently and was THAT douche that talked with people I know through most of the show. :lol: On the flip side of that, I walked out of VNV Nation at the Casbah because there were so many people holding up phones, I couldn't see the band. The Singer even repeatedly berated the crowed for that and they just laughed at his criticism of them That was an odd night.

Anyways, I hope your ennui passes & are able to be inspired to make more good music.

Ostermilk
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13 Jan 2018

I haven't seen that word used since I was 11 when an educational clinician brought me in for an assesment due to my lack of interest in school. I'd started out as a bright prospect and was able to read a newspaper whilst my 4 year old peers were still stuck on learning the alphabet. So I was somewhat hailed as a savant that grew disinterested in learning by the age of 11. In fact I was never interested in learning, I don't recall ever going through a process of learning to read it just seemed to be something I could do one day. I remember my Dad falling off the back of his chair at breakfast once because at age 4 I just read the headlines on the front page ignorant of any knowledge that this was a 'clever' thing to do.

How I wish I'd have paid attention the the idea of Anhedonia back then as from my late teens until my mid-30's I got caught in a cycle of addiction that many would have suspected was caused by a completely hedonistic lifestyle, but in reality was likely a result of compensating against anhedonia rather than any excess desire. Having got clean and sober in my thirties (nearly 30 years ago now), I thought everything would become plain sailing, until eventually I got a diagnosis of clinical depression, and it was something of a revelation, albeit if I'd had really taken the word on board when I was 11 it could have possibly saved a lot of misery. But that's all 'what if' now.

The only constant I had throughout all that time was my enjoyment of playing drums, or as you say, honing one's craft, and fortunately I played enough to largely keep body and soul together like most peoples regular job does. I had to stop that too when poor physical health (consequences of my earlier 'lifestyle') put paid to that a few years back, which was the point I became interested in using a computer to make music.

Sometimes I think it would be nice just to sit down and do a jigsaw puzzle but I fear after 5 minutes it would just end up in the bin.
There's this thing in eastern religions called Dharma that is something to do with finding and living your divine purpose, best of luck with finding that, but from your description, you seem to have a good balance between 'work' and creativity, and never worry about a partner that doesn't understand you, I've found it's far more difficult having a partner that does.

Anyhow it's a great discussion you kicked off here.

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plaamook
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13 Jan 2018

QVprod wrote:
12 Jan 2018
I never said be social, though I think that's important as well just for living in general. It's hard to soul search in front of a computer. Monks are typically surrounded by some type of scenery. They have a lot more to look at than the inside of their living space. Many hermits travel.
Senery is irrelevant and you don't need tinkling water features. You don't need to romantasise it all like Kane from Kung Fu either. One of the most remarkable people I've ever met did a three year meditation retreat in his house. Didn't leave for three years. Friends brought him food.

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